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bishop’s proposal

A Mexican bishop has proposed a “social treaty” that would include drug traffickers to tackle the violence, which has prompted President Andres Manuel López Obrador to reconsider his security policy.

The agreement was needed so that “all society and even criminals could somehow get involved,” Bishop Sigifredo Noriega of the violent northern state of Zacatecas told the newspaper Millenio.

Questions have risen about Lopez Obrador’s security strategy since two Jesuit priests the killing Last month at a church in the northern state of Chihuahua.

Authorities have identified the owner of a local gang linked to the Sinaloa Cartel as a suspect in those murders. Jose Noriel Portillo Gil, aka “El Chueco”, is already wanted in the 2018 murder of an American tourist.

State prosecutors announced a $250,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the alleged killer, who remains at large. The office said that this is the biggest reward given in the history of the state.

Mexican Catholic bishops urged the government after the attack to “review the security strategies that are failing.”

On Monday, the Mexican Episcopal Conference said it was “committed to communicating to forge a path of justice and reconciliation that leads us to peace.”

The church’s Catholic Multimedia Center said seven priests had been murdered under the current administration, which took office in December 2018, and at least two dozen under the former president, who took office in 2012. has been murdered. In 2016, Three priests killed in just one week In Mexico.

Protests against escalating violence in Mexico
Human rights activists and relatives of missing victims participate during a ‘Pilgrimage to Life and Peace’ protest against escalating violence in Mexico on July 5, 2022, in Mexico City.

Louis Barron / iPix Group / Future Publishing via Getty Images


Meanwhile, another priest said he was beaten up over the weekend in the violence-stricken western state of Michoacan. Rev. Matteo Calvillo wrote in an open letter that people traveling in another vehicle had hit his car, causing him to stop, and one of them came near his window and beat him mercilessly.

López Obrador this week defended his security policy, which focuses on tackling the root causes of violence, including poverty.

He said on Tuesday that while he supported the pardon, his government “doesn’t negotiate” with the perpetrators.

A spiral of bloodshed has killed more than 340,000 people since 2006 when the then government deployed the military to fight drug cartels.

The government blames gangs involved in crimes including drug trafficking, fuel theft, kidnapping and extortion for most of the deaths.

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